RES gets green light to develop France’s ‘largest’ floating solar project

The plant will be constructed at the site of former gravel pits. Image: Romain Berthiot.

Renewables developer and asset manager RES has secured planning permission for a 65.5MW floating solar project that will be installed at a former quarry in northeastern France.

Set to be built at a 127-hectare site of former gravel pits in the Grand Est region, the plant is the largest floating PV project authorised in France to date, RES said.

The project will feature solar modules fixed onto anchored floats, and commissioning is scheduled by the end of 2023.

“This first authorisation paves the way for our other projects of the same type,” said Céline Spitzhorn, solar director at RES, adding that the company is currently developing a portfolio of floating PV plants totalling more than 200MW.

France is already home to a 17MWp floating solar project that was said to be the largest facility of its kind when it was completed in 2019. Work is also now underway by EDF Renewables to construct a 20MW floating project that will be colocated with the Lazer hydroelectric plant in southeastern France.

Elsewhere, renewables developer BayWa r.e. recently completed two installs in the Netherlands totalling 71MWp that it said are the largest floating PV plants outside of Asia.

It was announced last month that Hanwha Solutions secured a deal to acquire RES Méditerranée, a RES-owned renewables development and construction business that has a pipeline in France of 5GW of utility-scale solar, onshore wind and storage projects.